Celebrity caterer and culinary fashionista, Andrea Correale, shares her favorite tips for making this Thanksgiving holiday run smoothly.
Have just a few drink options, rather than a full bar – less expensive and SO much less work…
All you need is wine, beer, vodka, tequila and a few mixers. You don’t need to spend money on all the other spirits one would normally see on a fully stocked bar. Promoting one signature cocktail prior to dinner will also cut down on bar congestion. I suggest using apple cider as your base ingredient its festive and delicious. Pre-batch the signature cocktail the night before and preset a tray with glasses so all you need to do is pour and serve as your guests arrive. Do not set up the bar in the kitchen. Keep it in another room so you can easily get the dinner out with little stress.
Figure out where to put coats – rather than draped all over the living room or piled on beds..
Clear out your coats from the hall closet and hide them in a bedroom rather than having your guests go to a bedroom to place their coats. Leave all your coats on the hangers so you can move them back and forth with ease. Simply buy a dozen or so new hangers and place them in the closet. Now you are ready to go.
Farm out some dishes for people to bring (don’t try and be a hero and cook it all yourself!
This is a great idea if you are pressed for time, don’t have a large kitchen or refrigerator space. Make a list of all the items needed right down to the ice and delegate away. If anyone is bringing a side dish etc. tell them to bring it warm that way you can give it a quick reheat and it won’t take up too much time or space in the oven.
Set the table the night before or even earlier.
This can be done a week out or earlier if you like. Put in the table extenders, put on the table pads, put the table cloth on and get started. Set everything you possibly can. Doing this one thing and your life will be so much easier.
Looking for more?
1) Have to go containers on hand so you can easily make leftover packages for friends and family
2) Thanksgiving is often family-style. Instead of doing one bowl of stuffing, one bowl of mashed potatoes, etc, put out two smaller bowls of each item, one on each end of the table. This will cut down on all the confusion of everyone passing things around. This makes serving a whole lot easier.
3) Cut down on the appetizers. Too many appetizers on Thanksgiving is a big mistake. Your guests will fill up and not enjoy all the food you worked hard to prepare. The
Thanksgiving meal should take center stage. Lots of appetizers also means extra platters, plates forks, and dishes to clean up before “the big meal” causing clutter in the kitchen and a dishwasher full of plates.
4) Put out name cards at each place setting to assign seating. This will alleviate the hustle and bustle at the dining table prior to everyone sitting down.